Go Wild for Worms – gardeners welcome life-giving worms!

Wendy Tobitt, BBOWT  |  Published: Mar 27th 2018
worms in compost, photo credit RHS - Rachael Tanner
Worms in compost. Photo credit RHS - Rachael Tanner

This year’s Wild About Gardens challenge from the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and The Wildlife Trusts is: Go Wild for Worms! 

 

Earthworms are essential for life. They live beneath our lawns and flower beds, fields, woods and roadside verges, constantly turning and enriching soil, to enable life-giving earth to breathe and rainfall to be soaked up.

 

Charles Darwin named the earthworm ‘nature’s plough’ because they provide the best soil conditions for all plants and trees to thrive in. Earthworms are the gardener’s best friend, and they are essential food for other garden wildlife. That’s why this year Wild About Gardens is celebrating earthworms.

 

Did you know?

  • The UK has 29 different species of earthworm
  • An earthworm can eat its own weight in soil in one day and their burrows are perfect channels for air and water
  • Earthworms are vital food for toads, birds, beetles, shrews and badgers

 

Go Wild for Worms:

  • Download ‘wormy’ inspiration and details of our poetry competition at www.wildaboutgardens.org.uk.
  • Recycle your vegetable and fruit peelings with garden waste in a compost heap. Earthworms will munch their way through it all to create nutrient-rich compost for your garden.
  • Feed your garden with home-made compost and organic fertilisers, and watch your garden flourish from the ground up
  • Dig up the paving to let the earth breathe, and dig in new plants.
  • Contribute to Earthworm Watch research or the OPAL Soil and Earthworm Survey

 

Ellie Brodie, Senior Policy Manager of The Wildlife Trusts says: “Charles Darwin revered worms and thought few other animals played so important a part in the history of the world. We’re hoping gardeners will choose to create a compost heap or go to one of our events and learn to love worms. Pulling up the paving in your front garden would make a big difference too – and would also help a host of other wildlife to thrive!”

Helen Bostock, a wildlife advisor at the RHS says: “It’s easy to overlook the humble earthworm but they really are the gardener’s best friend. They play a vital role in creating good soil structure and fertility, essential for healthy plants, and provide food for creatures such as frogs, hedgehogs and blackbirds that help keep unwanted pests at bay.”

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